|Event:||Australia in British Isles 2009|
DateLine: 12th July 2009
It is four years since Simon Jones last played for England. The game ended in a crucial win then. Now the fast bowler Jones is hoping for a quick comeback after a spate of injuries rampaged his career.
He was one of England's heroes in the last home Ashes series, where his reverse-swing deliveries did great damage to the Australians. But since then the right-armer is in cricketing rehab for the umpteenth time trying to recover from injury.
As Jones told ‘The Guardian', a cursed and chronic cycle which began in his teenage years, and has never stopped interrupting his career.
In the only three and a half Tests that Jones played in England colours, the bowler accounted for 18 wickets. He was then forced out, by bone spurs, tiny growths on existing bone - from the fourth Ashes match at Trent Bridge and into a four-year injury nightmare.
The pacer was close to a first England recall last August for the Caribbean tour after a good domestic season at Worcestershire by claiming 42 wickets, was again ruled out because of a third serious knee injury.
"You have to sometimes wonder: 'Why I am still doing this to myself?'" Jones was quoted as saying in the newspaper.
"It's heartbreaking. To go from such a high to four years of such rotten luck - it's unfair. It's as if someone's saying to me: 'The best thing you can achieve in cricket is winning the Ashes - you've had the taste, now that's it.' It's bloody hard, gut-wrenching.
"Sometimes I'm sat in the changing room and you hear younger lads complaining, and I'm like: 'Mate, you don't know how lucky you are. You could be grafting your arse off in the gym.' People not appreciating the position they're in, that frustrates me."
"I'd had them all series," Jones said of the bone spurs, which he first felt during the opening Test of that series at Lord's. "We calmed it down with a few injections. At points I was playing through proper pain but the adrenaline keeps you going. There was no way you were going to stop me. By the end I was in absolute agony, I couldn't walk to the toilet in my bedroom, I was really struggling. I'd got five wickets in the first innings (in Nottingham), we made Australia follow on and I couldn't get back on the field."
Michael Vaughan's side won the match by three wickets on the fourth day and also took a 2-1 lead in the series, which England then won at The Oval during the climactic final Test.
"It was very frustrating for me," said Jones about his absence from those triumphant five days in south London, adding that nothing could make him play the special clash, "We tried everything - faith healers, the lot. A woman came round to the hotel to do her thing, but unfortunately it didn't work."
"People just don't think sometimes. Like I was walking to the ground at Worcester the other day with the physio. This guy walked straight up to me in my face and said: 'Stop limping and start bowling.' I just laughed. The physio said: 'Mate, I can't believe that bloke's done that.' I said: 'It's one of the things you have to put up with. You can't do anything, just accept the fact he's a prat.'
"He wouldn't do that do a normal bloke on the street because he wouldn't get away with it. I would never ever do anything like that," Jones said about his daily struggle.
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